Please don’t call
them commercials --
and, yes, they’re real

PBS Hawaii has no immediate plans to adopt a new national PBS policy doubling the length of underwriting announcements.

The Public Broadcasting System recently announced a decision to expand the announcements from 15 seconds to 30.

The change is intended to attract and keep top-tier underwriters and bring PBS additional revenue. It is the culmination of years of discussion and was approved by a 28 to three vote at a Feb. 1 PBS board of directors meeting, according to industry publication

PBS stations in most of the top-30 markets already accept extra money for the extra-long acknowledgments, said Kay Kasamoto, communications specialist for PBS Hawaii.

Her understanding is that the longer-form underwriting credits are to run only in prime-time and for NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and not in children's programming.

Certain guidelines must be met in such announcements, she said, never using the word "commercial."

Locally however, "We haven't had any discussions about it yet," she said.

But if some generous underwriter wants to throw money at the newly re-monikered PBS Hawaii?

"I'm not sure we could refuse," Kasamoto said, laughing.

New overseer

Honolulu's Cox Radio Inc. cluster of four stations has a new boss.

Caroline Devine last week was promoted from vice president and general manager of KISS/KSMG-FM in San Antonio to regional vice president. As part of a realigned corporate reporting structure, her far-flung territory will include Honolulu, where Austin Vali and Mike Kelly both bear the vice president/general manager title.

Vali said all the right things about Devine, to whom he and Kelly will now report and who will be coming to the islands on a regular basis.

The move "gives us a little more attention, which is a good thing," Vali said.

The two previously reported directly to President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Neil, who Vali still expects to see at least a few times a year. Neil comes through town on his way to his home on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, he said.

That the last syllables of Caroline Devine rhyme prompted TheBuzz to ask Vali if it was an old on-air name. Nope, it's her real name, he said.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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